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Earning hotel points with TopGuest and converting hotel points to miles

I’ve been playing around with TopGuest on my iPhone and iPad lately (which means I’ve been yelling at family members with me to make detours to TopGuest locations when we are out and about). I’ll explain. TopGuest generally offers about 50 points each time you post a check-in with your Facebook or Foursquare account (or post a Tweet with a location but that seems unnecessarily complicated). It’s the same program that gets you 50 United/Continental miles for checking in certain airports.

That’s 50 miles per 24 hours, per hotel program. Theoretically.

Hypothetically, you could earn over 18,000 points a year from each of these programs: Hilton HHonors, Best Western Rewards, Wyndham Rewards, Voila Rewards and Priority Club Rewards. (Other programs include Virgin America Elevate, Choice Privileges, Kimpton InTouch, Clubhotel and M life. Why I am less concerned with these programs I will explain in due course.)

I say hypothetically and theoretically because unless you permanently reside at the associated hotels, you’re probably not going to visit one every single day, and if you do, you may very well be violating TopGuest’s terms of use and they may shut down your account. You can read about account shutdowns on this MilePoint thread.

Sure you can act like a normal person and use those hotel points towards free stays and such, but since I tend not to stay in THAT many hotels and am only really committed to the Starwood program (which is not represented on TopGuest), I plan to eventually convert hotel points to miles on the airlines I fly. Thus, I am primarily concerned with the hotel programs that have United and American as transfer partners. The transfer rates are never great, but hey, checking in on Facebook takes practically no effort, it’s free and it only causes mild confusion amongst my Facebook friends and stalkers. Therefore, I’ll get free miles (eventually).

Some examples of possible transfers:

Hilton HHonors has a ton of airline partners and a list of them along with conversions may be found here. I could potentially transfer 10,000 HHonors points for 1,500 American or Hawaiian miles or less thrillingly, 1,000 United miles.

Best Western Rewards has a somewhat better conversion rate. For 5,000 Best Western Rewards, you can receive 1,000 miles on Aeroplan, Alaska, American, Continental, Delta, Southwest, US Airways and Asiana Club. The link is here.

I keep track of all my hotel points on AwardWallet and so far, the Hilton and Best Western check-ins I’ve made have been posting within a few hours. I’ve been updating my AwardWallet account in obsessive awe. You can also receive bonus points just for signing up for TopGuest and linking either a Facebook or Foursquare account. I received 500 bonus Best Western Rewards for signing up. I receive an email within a day of the check-in reporting that I’ve received points through TopGuest.

I’ve been in Hawaii for a couple weeks now and well, there are a lot of hotels here, so I’ve had a number of opportunities to check-in, concentrating on Hiltons and Best Westerns. I’ve been testing out the GPS on my phone and iPad and it can pick up on hotels from my grandma’s couch, but checking in on Facebook to a hotel from my grandma’s couch would be um, just plain wrong (and in violation of the TopGuest terms of use). Use some discretion. You’re supposed to actually be at the location, but as the MilePoint thread reports, the system is really wonky and sometimes doesn’t even pick up on check-ins from within a hotel property.

Steps:

1. Sign up for hotel points program.

2. Sign up for a TopGuest account and link it to a Facebook or Foursquare account.

3. Connect your hotel points program number to TopGuest.

4. Search Nearby Places on Facebook and post a check-in or check in on Foursquare. Make sure the place you choose is the most obviously named place. Check to see if it has many other check-ins by others — that will give you some hint to whether or not you’re checking into the correct place. For example, when trying to obtain United/Continental miles through TopGuest, don’t check-in on Facebook to “Honoruru Intl Airport” or “Honolua Intl Airport” but rather “Honolulu International Airport (HNL)” which has thousands of previous check-ins.

To further maximize my check-in opportunities, I’ve signed up my boyfriend for a Foursquare account and linked his hotel program reward numbers (which I also set up) to TopGuest. I now have his Foursquare account on my iPhone and check him in whenever I check myself in on Facebook. I’m not relying on him to do his own check-ins because he is part-caveman, doesn’t know how to use Facebook and I’ll bet you fifty bucks he hasn’t heard of Foursquare. I guess I should probably tell him about this at some point if I remember.

I did not attempt to check in on Facebook to a hotel while I hiked up the Makapu'u Lighthouse trail because that would be wrong.

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9 Comments on “Earning hotel points with TopGuest and converting hotel points to miles”

  1. […] Earning hotel points with TopGuest and converting hotel points to miles […]

  2. […] I’ve mentioned previously, the system can be a bit wonky, especially when it comes to airport check-ins (TopGuest offers 50 […]

  3. […] locations to obtain free miles and hotel points. See explanations about hotel points here and here and explanation about United/Continental miles […]

  4. Brandon says:

    You can spoof your location so you don’t necessarily have to be at that location to check in. You can also setup auto-checkins (auto4sq.com) so it does it for you every day. I have over 18 foursquare accounts and 18 topguest accounts setup to collect points for United, Hilton HHonors, Wyndham, etc. so I am earning over 800 points a day with this method 🙂

    • jack says:

      Presumably those points are split between multiple accounts for the same frequent stayer program, and not all 800 are going into a single hilton and wyndham account. can you transfer the miles from one hilton honors account to another?

      • Brandon says:

        @Jack – Yup, they’re split between multiple accounts so I have it like so: I set up 6 gmails/foursquares to get United Miles, Hilton Points, Wyndham Rewards, Best Western, Priority Club points, and Virgin America miles for myself. I have another 6 accounts set up to do the same (United, Hilton Points, Wyndham, etc.). I think you can transfer Hilton points to another account but you have to pay a fee. And it would have to be from one Hilton account to another Hilton account. You can’t intermix (United account to a Hilton account, etc.).

  5. jack says:

    Ah I see. That’s quite productive : D But for example, say you wanted to book a stay at a hilton using some of the points from all 6-12 accounts, could you use them together? Because if not, I don’t see the benefit of setting up so many account. I set up 4 FQSR and Gmails too and used auto4sq, which is really good.

    • Brandon says:

      @Jack – Hmmm, I don’t think you can use the points together like that, but I set up the other accounts just for the hell of it, also I am doing the credit card bonus sign-on thing so I am accumulating a ton of Hilton points so these little 50 points a day are just a bonus. As for the other accounts (Wyndam, Best Western, etc.) I’m not sure what I am going to do with them but it’s free points! I’ll just let the auto check-in do its thing and see how long this’ll last, maybe I can use whatever points I earn at Wyndam or Best Western and stay at one of their crappy hotels for a day? lol

  6. Best Western points can be transferred to accounts based at the same address: https://goldcrownclub.bestwestern.com/custserv/faq.asp#q27

    or you can always convert Wyndham and Best Western points into airline miles — the transfer rate isn’t awesome (something like 2.5 hotel points:1 airline [choose from a range]) but hey, the points were free to begin with


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